One scan to detect clots could replace many

The whole body of a rat can be imaged for blood clots with one PET scan.

The whole body of a rat can be imaged for blood clots with one single PET scan. picture credit: Peter Caravan

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have invented a new molecular probe which, upon injection into a vein, will travel through the body and find blood clots wherever they are present. Peter Caravan, director of the Institute for Innovation in Imaging at MGH, presented his team’s findings at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, which wrapped up in Boston Wednesday.

“We have invented a new molecular probe which, upon injection into a vein, will travel through the body and find blood clots wherever they occur, be that in the venous system, in the arteries, in the chambers of the heart or in the lungs,” Caravan said.

To detect the precise location of a blood clot, a physician now relies on a combination of different methods: ultrasound to check legs and the carotid arteries that supply the head and neck, magnetic resonance imaging for the heart, and computed tomography, or CT, for the lungs. The researchers wanted a method that could detect blood clots anywhere in the body with a single whole-body scan instead.

Read more here. html. pdf.